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Midnight Snack

Also known as the Midnight Fridge Raid—which may induce Fridge Logic.

A common occurrence in American sitcoms and other comedy shows is to have some character get up in the middle of the night in order to have a snack. This may be due to the character being a Big Eater, or being on a diet and attempting to cheat on it without anyone noticing.

Sometimes two or more people will have the same idea. May either be a plot point or a Running Gag.

Examples:

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Comic Books
  • In Richie Rich, Mr. Rich sneaks into the kitchen at night, picks the locks his wife has put on the fridge, opens the door and reaches for the food, only to find that she's installed a force field on the inside, preventing him from touching anything until breakfast time. He spends the remainder of the night sitting in front of the open fridge, staring mournfully at the food.
  • In the Archie Comics feature Li'l Jinx, Charley goes on a strict diet, supervised by his friend Greg, but each weigh-in reveals he hasn't lost any weight. Charley invites Greg to spend an entire day watching him, to prove that he isn't cheating. Greg observes that Charley is indeed following the diet religiously. However, that night, staying over at his friend's, he awakes to find Charley raiding the fridge and eating in his sleep.
  • In Strangers in Paradise, Francine, stressed over her best friend and roommate Katchoo's secretive behaviour, fixes a so-called "milkshake" as a midnight snack. It is, in fact, an enormous tub of ice cream with lots of milk and chocolate syrup poured in.
    Katchoo: Francine, that's not a milkshake, that's a commitment.
  • Donald Duck was once found of these while sleepwalking and every morning he believed the food was eaten by his nephews and wouldn't listen to them. After a failed attempt to wake him up during a raid, they sought for medical help. Donald followed them to the doctor and told them his side of the facts. The doctor then suggested him to pull a prank to make them unable to deny their fridge-raiding. Pour on the food a drug that made the users' faces green. When it was Donald and not the nephews who had a green face, Donald finally realized he was the one eating the food.

Film
  • Jimmy's dad does this in the Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius movie. Right before all the adults in the town are abducted.
  • Poltergeist. Late at night while everyone is dozing off one of the paranormal researchers goes to the kitchen to get something to eat, including a steak and chicken leg from the fridge. He gets a lot more than he was expecting.
  • Maruti of The Return of Hanuman had a Midnight Snack after he had a bad dream that he's not allowed to eat anymore. But since he's an extreme Big Eater, not only he finished the whole fridge, he ate all of the village's food supply.

Literature
  • In Right Ho, Jeeves, the gourmand Tuppy Glossop has been fighting with his vegetarian fiancée Angela. Bertie advises him to pretend not to be hungry at dinner, so Angela will think he is pining over her—and then nip down to the kitchen while everyone's asleep and have some steak-and-kidney pie. Unfortunately, though, what with one thing and another the entire household ends up coming down to the kitchen at midnight. Angela uses the midnight snack as even further evidence of Tuppy's gluttony, and he doesn't even get time to eat it.
  • It's mentioned in the Discworld books (specifically, Mort) that it is a universal law that any pantry raided furtively in the middle of the night will inevitably contain half a jar of mayonnaise and an elderly tomato, regardless of its normal daytime contents.

Live-Action TV
  • The Golden Girls used to do this all the time, favoring cheesecake.
  • Kaamelott: Karadoc does this pretty much every night, the rest of the cast occasionally. In one episode, he's forbidden from entering the kitchen by Lady Seli, as they need the food for the upcoming diplomatic meeting and feast. He retaliates by sneaking in early and emptying the cupboards.
  • Seinfeld: At a vacation house in the Hamptons, Jerry's girlfriend goes to sneak some leftover lobster, though it goes against her religion. Fortunately for her, Kramer anticipated it, and is waiting there to intervene. Unfortunately for her, the next morning George laces her eggs with lobster out of vengeance for her telling his girlfriend about his "shrinkage".
  • Former Brazilian TV show "TV Pirata" had one sketch where someone is caught and arrested during a Midnight Snack. The Miranda Warning (which became known in Brazil thanks to shows imported from the US) was altered to "Everything you eat might be used against you in court". At the trial the defendant is offered a pie and asked to swear to eat the half, only the half and nothing but the half. Translating into Portuguese, "half" becomes "metade" and "truth" becomes "verdade".
  • Nigella Lawson does this at the end of her cooking programs.

Music
  • The subject of one of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz recordings called "Hunger is From." A sample:
    have you ever been hungry in the middle of the night?
    that happens to me sometimes
    and then i go raid the icebox
    for example, the other night i did that
    we had some leftover welsh rarebit
    i found that and a couple crackers
    piece of celery
    and an olive and i
    sat down in the middle of the night
    i was very, very
    ...hungry

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Other
  • There was a board game called "Don't Wake Daddy" where the players were kids sneaking for a snack in the middle of the night. Landing on squares that made noise forced the player to press the button on Daddy's alarm clock. If he woke up, your piece went back to start.
  • Amy Sedaris advises alcoholics and lonely ice cream eaters to "rotate your stores," because cashiers notice when the same person comes in at one a.m. every night and makes the same telltale purchase.

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